This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. Full Disclosure Policy.
A delicious way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey, this turkey wild rice soup is comfort food central, and done in under 45 minutes!
Serve with a simple salad or a basket of bread and dinner is served!
Step by step photos and instructions below!
The thing I love most about cooking a Thanksgiving bird, other than eating it, of course, is thinking of all the ways we’re going to be eating leftovers for the following days. Turkey club wraps, sandwiches, casseroles, and of course, homemade soup!
This turkey rice soup is a healthy and wholesome soup that is hearty yet still nice and light. It’s made with leftover turkey, veggies, herbs, and wild rice. It’s the perfect way to eat after a weekend of overindulgence!
It also makes a great lunch to take to work or a light dinner when you don’t feel like making a big production. Or you can freeze it for later and thaw it when you want something quick and easy to reheat.
It’s all ready to serve in 40 minutes, without any long simmering time. Although I will say, it certainly tastes like it was a labor of love!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Uses Thanksgiving leftovers. This soup recipe is just one more reason to hope there will be turkey leftovers! If you’re feeling adventurous you could use the turkey carcass to make a broth and use it in this recipe.
- Healthy and wholesome. Loads of nourishing veggies, lean protein, and herbs come together without any preservatives, high sodium, or artificial ingredients so often found in store-bought soups.
- Loads of flavor. The turkey itself brings extra flavor from being seasoned before it was cooked. Combined with a savory chicken broth, seasoning, and wild rice, this soup is utterly delicious!
- Easily double the recipe. If you’re serving a larger crowd, or you want to make more to freeze some, feel free to double or triple the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Despite its name, and similarities to traditional rice, wild rice is actually a type of grass. For the sake of all of us not really caring about that, we’re going to call it rice!
It’s firmer in texture, it’s longer, heartier, and has a nuttier flavor than white or brown rice. Providing a beautiful dark color and hearty texture, wild rice is a great addition to soups, stuffing, and other dishes.
It’s a good idea! Wild rice should be rinsed as you would any other type of rice to rid the surface of any excess starch.
Absolutely. Since wild rice takes longer to cook than traditional rice, it’ll cook right in the soup as it simmers.
Try adding some cabbage, green beans, or even broccoli florets. Cauliflower would be a great addition too.
What to serve with Turkey Rice Soup
Soup and salad is always a classic combination. Something nice and light would be great like an arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette or a grilled cheese sandwich.
If nothing else, it’s always a good idea to have a basket of bread on the table. We love to rip pieces of crusty bread to use for dipping. Turkey rice soup also pairs well with garlic cheese bread or cheesy garlic bread, take your pick!
I have included step by step photos and instructions, as well as tips and tricks in the post. If you’d rather skip all that, scoot right on down to the full recipe card located at the bottom of the post.
What to do with leftovers
Once completely cooled, store the leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy leftovers for up to 4 days.
You can just as easily use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken for this recipe.
Olive oil can be used instead of butter.
Swap the wild rice with brown rice or white rice. Remember they all have different cooking times, so add the rice in as you see fit. You can also cook it separately and add it in at the end.
I like the consistency of half and half. It’s not too thin, but it’s also not thick enough to make this a creamy soup. Make it as creamy as you’d like using heavy cream instead!
Since rice tends to absorb liquid the longer it sits in it, which can make it soggy, it’s a good idea to cook the soup without the rice if you know you’re going to freeze it.
Keep it frozen for up to 3 months, then thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- Butter. I use unsalted so I can control the amount of added salt in the turkey rice soup. Not all salted butter is created equal, so sometimes it’s easier to use unsalted.
- Aromatics. Diced onion and minced garlic sautéed in butter starts this soup off with an amazing first layer of flavor.
- Veggies. We’re sticking with the classics here. Diced stalks of celery and carrots are what I use.
- Flour. Helps to thicken the soup.
- Seasoning. Italian seasoning, (you could also use poultry seasoning) a little kosher salt, and black pepper are all that is needed to give this soup a flavor boost! You could use fresh thyme and fresh parsley in the soup, or as a garnish if you have it available.
- Wild rice blend Keep in mind wild rice triples in size once it is cooked. So, 1 cup is plenty! You can use regular long grain rice if that’s what you have on hand.
- Chicken stock. Use homemade or store-bought, low sodium or regular, it’s up to you. If you have leftover turkey stock, use that!
- Leftover turkey. This is cooked turkey, that is shredded. You could also use turkey or chicken diced into small pieces.
- Half and half. Adds a richness and a light creaminess to the broth. You could use whole milk if you prefer.
Styled Pin Header
- Dutch oven or large pot
- Garlic press
How to make this recipe
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
In a large Dutch oven melt the butter and sauté the onion, celery, and carrots (also known as a mirepoix) until soft.
Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Make a roux
Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. It should become pasty.
Season it with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Add remaining ingredients
Add the wild rice, turkey, and chicken stock and bring it to a simmer.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender.
Tip: I say 15-20 minutes because depending on the altitude of where you live, it may determine how long your rice needs to cook.
Remove the soup from the heat, stir in half and half.
Ladle soup into serving bowls. Serve garnished with fresh herbs.
More delicious soup recipes:
- Creamy chicken tortellini soup. Creamy, full of flavor, and loaded with tortellini pasta and chicken. This soup is a must-try!
- Albondigas soup. A soup that eats like a meal! Juicy meatballs in a rich flavorful broth infused with warm earthy spices.
- Cauliflower cheese soup. I mean any thick, creamy, cheesy soup has to be good right? The tender morsels of buttery cauliflower are a bonus!
- Homemade chicken noodle soup. A tried and true classic soup that nourishes the soul. Use leftover chicken or store-bought rotisserie to make this easy soup even easier!
- Easy roasted red pepper soup. Warm up this winter with a simple and incredibly delicious roasted red pepper soup made with roasted garlic, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
Turkey Rice Soup
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion (diced – about 1 medium)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 cup carrots (diced – about 2 medium)
- 1 cup celery (diced – about 2 stalks)
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (can sub poultry seasoning)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup wild rice
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 cups leftover turkey (shredded or diced into small pieces)
- ½ cup half and half
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped finely)
- In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter, sauté onion, carrots and celery until softened.
- Add the garlic, cook a further 1 min.
- Add the flour and cook another minute.
- Season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Add the wild rice, stock and turkey and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the half and half.
- Serve in bowls with parsley sprinkled over the top.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.